Jubilation as Spain Women football Team calls off strike

Players from Spain’s top women’s football league, Liga F, have decided to cancel a strike that led to the postponement of the first week of matches, following an agreement on wages reached by unions and the league, as announced on Thursday.

According to a statement by Liga F, “Liga F and the unions have reached an agreement regarding the minimum wage that allows the strike to be called off.”

Five unions, including AFE and Futpro, initiated a strike covering the first two rounds of matches last week. The unions explained, “The deal pertains to the minimum wage, which was the main reason for the strike, and has been accepted by the players as a demonstration of responsibility to the sport’s fans.”

Liga F has committed to increasing the minimum wage from 16,000 euros ($17,000) annually to 21,000 euros ($22,500) in the current season, with further increments to 23,500 euros ($25,500) by the 2025-26 season.

While players were originally advocating for a minimum wage starting at 23,000 euros from this season onwards, they have agreed to the revised terms. However, despite the strike being called off, the unions mentioned that there are various other unresolved issues after a year of negotiations.

“This step marks the beginning and is just one aspect of the agreement. Now it is time to focus on important matters such as maternity leave, harassment protocol, and other related aspects,” added the unions.

Matches will now proceed this weekend after the games scheduled for September 8-10 were postponed. In the previous season, a refereeing strike disrupted the initial week of Liga F matches. Eventually, the league consented to higher match fees for referees, and the Spanish government pledged to contribute to a retirement fund for referees.

Spanish women’s football gained significant attention after La Roja’s World Cup victory in August. However, this triumph was marred by an incident involving former federation president Luis Rubiales during the medal ceremony. Rubiales, 46, drew widespread criticism when he forcibly kissed Spain midfielder Jenni Hermoso on the lips. He has since resigned and is expected to appear in court on Friday following an investigation by a Spanish judge into the incident. Currently, 81 Spanish players are on strike against the women’s national team, demanding a change in federation leadership. Rubiales has resigned, and controversial women’s coach Jorge Vilda was dismissed.

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